Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Customer Spotlight: Decor Cabinets - Commitment to Machine Safety

When a company identifies the scope of a machine safety project it can look insurmountable.  That highlights the need to have a solid program and plan and to communicate it to the whole team.  That is something Decor Cabinets has demonstrated a strong commitment too.

Decor Cabinets is in Morden, Manitoba and is one of the largest cabinet manufacturers in North America.  They have an extensive product line with processes utilizing a large variety of equipment, all with some form or risk that needs to be managed.  Decor has completed and taken their machine audit and turned it into an action plan.  One of the more important things they have done is involve the whole team with that plan.

A machine safety program cannot be owned by only the safety department.  Geoff Ingalls, Health and Safety Manager at Decor works hard to ensure that all areas like production, maintenance and management are involved with improving machine safety.  That is reflected in the results as Decor in a very short time last year reduced their plant machine risk and tracked the improvement using WESguard.  Tracking these improvements and ensuring risk is being evaluated in real time is another important component to risk management.  Shawna Tocher, Health and Safety Coordinator works diligently to review improvements being made and ensure risk is being constantly updated.

One of the things they have excelled at is reviewing new equipment.  When you have existing equipment that needs machine safety improvements that is one challenge, but if you don’t set goals for your new equipment its just going to compound the problem.

We’ve enjoyed working with Decor and look forward to seeing them make improvements each month.



Posted by Kristin Petaski at 8:30 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why do some people ignore machine risk

Ever have that frustration of taking a walk through the facility and finding a brand-new machine guard laying on the ground beside the machine?  The immediate response is that it’s a lack of discipline and that punishment will rectify this problem.

But let’s stop for a moment and think about this situation.  There are some reasons it may be on the ground and they all relate to the consequences of the action.  We may all be familiar with the consequence of not having a machine guard and the injuries that can occur, but there are other consequences that the operator has taken into consideration and we need to understand them if we want to correct the behavior and ensure that guard stays on the machine.

The guard may not have been selected or designed properly, it may be impeding the work that the operator is trying to do.  What is the consequence to the operator of not achieving the productivity goal set for them?  Machine injuries can be catastrophic, but maybe the operator has only ever had near misses, so they don’t seem as possible to them.  But they sure have experienced when the station falls behind and the stress of trying to catch up.

Does the operator need to see the part being worked on?  Do they need to hold the part to secure it?  If we have guards that don’t allow the part to be seen, or controls that require both hands, how will they make parts that meet compliance?  Has the operator determined that the consequence of making bad parts and disrupting that rest of the workforce is more pressing than the risk to themselves?

These consequences are not meant to excuse the removal of guards, but they highlight the need not just to put machine guards in place, but understand the work being done so that the right guards go into place.

Found a guard on the floor recently?  Take the time to ask the operator why its there.  Put the guard back on and get them to show you how they work with the guard in place.  Send us those stories and we’ll publish them in an upcoming blog for everyone to benefit from.

Posted by Kristin Petaski at 8:34 AM 0 Comments
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